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Once in a Lifetime | Kauai High Holidays 2018/5779

2018 September 7
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by Jeff

Kauai Jewish Community | Mishkon Hanafesh

Join us for our annual Kauai High Holiday services, starting with Erev Rosh Hashanah, this Sunday, September 9 at 7pm. We are grateful to be led in our observance by Rabbi Marna Sapsowitz. This due to Rabbi Aryeh Azriel not being able to come at the last minute. We are very happy to report that his wife Elyce’s health is improving.

Click following links to read more about Rabbi Marna and Rabbi Aryeh. Then read on for the schedule of remaining events.

You won’t want to miss this!  We will be introducing our new Torah for the High Holidays, which could not be more exciting for all of us. It is sacred, beautiful, amazing, historic, and iconic. Our new Torah is unique, one of a kind, and it is ours.


We will also be using our new Machzor, Mishkan Hanafesh, which we used for the first time last year. The High Holidays’ liturgy offers a new experience of Yamin HaNoraim (spiritual growth) that encompasses awe, solace, contemplation, personal and communal worship, and music. It also provides an easily accessible guide for Tshuvah and Chesbon Hanefesh (repentance and self-reflection).

The Machzor incorporates both our rich Jewish past and today’s modern age. It is fully transliterated, has many options for Torah readings, provides background and contextual information, poetry and alternative readings, commentary, multiple theological possibilities, a beautiful interpretation of Hebrew, and engaging artwork and essays.

Visitors and non-members are asked to make a minimum donation of $50 per person, per service attended, or $150 per person for all High Holiday services.  Click here to donate. Donation envelopes will also be available at services.

There is, according to our community’s practice, no charge to attend any of the services for our paid members (click here to join or renew).

Many Thanks. Organizing the 10 Days of Awe for our eclectic Jewish Community of Kauai is always a group effort. We are most grateful to the Executive Board (Laura Barzilai, Elyse Litvack, Carol Pescaia and Jeff Tucker), President Emeritus Marty Kahn, Rabbinic Confirmant Rob Kvidt, and Rabbi Marna Sapsowitz and Rabbi Aryeh Azriel.

Schedule for High Holiday services:

  • Erev Rosh Hashanah on Sunday, September 9 at 7 pm, followed by apples/honey oneg.
  • Rosh Hashanah on Monday, September 10 at 10 am, followed by luncheon and unique ocean Tashlich.
  • Shabbat Shuvah on Saturday, September 15 at 10 am followed by luncheon.
  • Erev Yom Kippur/Kol Nidre on Tuesday, September  18 at 7 pm.
  • Yom Kippur Day on Wednesday, September 19 at 10 am. Adult group discussion with Rabbi Marna reconvenes at 3:45 followed by Yizkor and Neilah and a profuse array of delicious food for our annual break-the-fast celebration.

Services are held at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Hardy Street, Lihue. Map.

In our tradition of tzedakah (charity), and in the spirit of aloha, please bring donations of food and/or money for the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. The Kauai food pantry distributes food to about one hundred people each week, is staffed by volunteers, and is supported by donations, including ours. Please donate money, canned and/or non perishable food.

Catering for the High Holidays will be provided by Sandy Jennings of Fresh from the Garden.

Let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to welcoming you.

New Torah for Kauai Jewish Community

2018 September 5
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by Jeff

New Torah | Kauai Jewish Community


The Jewish Community of Kauai is grateful and awed to present to our members a brand new Kosher Torah that is arriving on Kauai this week. We were able to acquire this new Torah through a very generous gift which was provided by the Lovell Family Trust.

This indescribably beautiful Torah was hand-written for us by a scribe in Israel. The unique, hand-made custom Etz Chaim (rollers) were also made in Israel, with inlaid wood from around the world, including koa we sent from Kauai.

How wonderful and amazing is this!

There are so many people to thank for making this happen. They include (in no particular order) Rabbi Aryeh Azriel, Rabbi Bill Kurry ZT”L, Rabbinical confirmant Rob Kvidt, and all of JCK’s board members, including co-presidents Carol Pescaia and Jeff Tucker.

We will be using the new Torah for all of the 5779 High Holidays. There will also be an opportunity for community members to see the Torah up close.

A formal Torah dedication with Rabbi Aryeh Azriel will take place in the near future. At that time we will also acknowledge the many loving hands from across the world, the untold number of processes, and many hundreds of hours that it took to make this Torah a reality for our community.

Jewish Community of Kauai Welcomes Rabbi Marna Sapsowitz

2018 August 30
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by Carol Pescaia

Marna Sapsowitz1

Kauai Jews are grateful and fortunate to be welcoming Rabbi Marna Sapsowitz. She was able to come to our aid at the last minute, when Rabbi Aryeh could no longer to come to Kauai. She will be leading the Jewish Community of Kauai High Holidays for 5779 starting September 9, 2018.

Rabbi Marna Sapsowitz’s roots are in New York. She graduated from high school in Northeastern PA, and attended Brandeis University, majoring in Sociology and Jewish Studies. She earned an M.Ed, from Seattle University. She was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1989, and was honored to receive her honorary D.D. from the RRC in 2014.

Rabbi Marna has just completed her sixth (and last) winter as “snowbird rabbi” to the Jewish Community on the Island of St Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Before that, she served for thirteen years as Rabbi of Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia, WA, which she still calls home. She has a deep passion for Jewish life in Eastern /Central Europe, and has worked with liberal/progressive Jewish communities in Prague and Warsaw. She loves languages, and is a student of both Russian and Yiddish, and, most recently, Arabic. She also enjoys singing in her synagogue choir.

She is delighted to be to partnering with JCK to create a rich and meaningful High Holy Day season, and looks forward to meeting and connecting with members of our Community.

Rabbi Aryeh Azriel

2018 August 30
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by Jeff

Rabbi Aryeh Azriel

Rabbi Aryeh was selected in 2016 by the JCK board after a comprehensive search and the interviews of seven potential candidates by board members Carol Pescaia, Marty Kahn and Jeff Tucker. We hope to be able to welcome him back for more opportunities to lead our community.

Unfortunately, Rabbi Aryeh and his wife Elyce will not be able to join us for High Holidays this year due to Elyce’s recent illness. We offer our heartfelt prayers for Elyce’s rapid recovery and look forward to seeing them again soon.

Rabbi Aryeh is currently a Scholar in Residence at Countryside Community Church where he will be offering a Jewish understanding of Hebrew Scriptures. He has also accepted a position of adjunct lecturer, at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, in the religion department.

Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Rabbi Aryeh served as Senior Rabbi at Omaha’s Temple Israel from 1988-2016. His many remarkable Jewish experiences also include:

  • Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha. Rabbi Aryeh has been a focal visionary of this globally unique project that will locate a synagogue, church and mosque together on one campus with a common desire to foster mutual understanding, respect and friendship.
  • Doctor of Divinity from Hebrew Union College, 2008.
  • Recipient of the Otto Swanson Spirit of Service Award in 1993.
  • 1997 recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. – Living the Dream Award, recognizing his continuing work on building cooperation with projects such as the Mitzvah Garden, Black/Jewish Dialogue and Habitat for Humanity.
  • Human Relations Award from the Omaha Education Association.
  • Associate Rabbi at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation in Baltimore, Maryland, until 1988.
  • Received his ordination and Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters in 1983 from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati.
  • Counselor at OSRUI, a Reform Jewish summer camp in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, in 1973.

Articles about Rabbi Aryeh:

Annual Contributions Due | Give Aloha Matching Donations

2018 August 30
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by Jeff

Shalom members and friends. We have almost arrived at the end of year 5778. It’s been a great year for our community and as 5779 nears, we again look forward to seeing all of you at our events.

The High Holidays remind us that it’s time for our membership donations. We do not charge for High Holiday attendance; your membership is your ticket.

Your contributions at work.

Your annual contribution allow us to do many things that would otherwise not be possible:

  • Hire, transport and house our guest rabbi.
  • Make a generous annual donation to St. Michael and All Angels Church and thank them for allowing us the use of their chapel, parish hall and other facilities.
  • Subsidize the community Seder (100 people this year) since the amount we charge does not cover the actual cost.
  • Provide many onegs throughout the year.
  • Offer a wonderful break-the-fast meal at the end of Yom Kippur, an Oneg on Rosh Hashanah and one for Shabbat Shuvah.
  • Host the annual Chanukah celebration.

Suggested annual amount.

The annual contribution is $360 for a family, and $180 for an individual. This is payable annually via check or monthly via PayPal, as well as at Foodland (see below). As always, if you would like to be a member and support the community, we will gladly accept whatever you feel comfortable giving. If you can afford to give more, your generosity will be greatly appreciated and used wisely. For an additional contribution, contact us, and we will affix a book plate in honor of whomever you designate in any one of our prayer books (donation of $64 per book).

Each and every one of us matters in Klal Yisrael – the shared sense of community and destiny among all Jews. Your contribution to JCK is the reason we exist here on Kaua`i. Without your participation and financial support, there would be no Jewish Community of Kaua`i. Without “you,” there is no “us.”

Foodland Give Aloha matching donation program.

Through the end of September you can contribute up to $249 of your annual donation via Foodland’s program. Click here to see our Give Aloha program details for more information.

If you have questions or comments, please let us know.


Give Aloha at Foodland Benefits Kauai Jewish Community

2018 August 20
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by Jeff

Give Aloha

From September 1 through September 30 here’s a great chance to pay up to $249 of your annual contribution now due. And to help our community even more, Foodland will match part of your donation!

The Jewish Community of Kauai is again participating in Foodland’s Annual Give Aloha Community Matching Gifts Program. This program honors the legacy of Foodland founder Maurice J. “Sully” Sullivan in giving back to the community. Matching funds are provided via The Western Union Foundation and Foodland.

How to Contribute to JCK

  • From September 1 through 30, 2018, you can make donations of up to a $249 per person to benefit the Jewish Community of Kauai. You may make your annual membership payment this way as well. You must use your own Maika`i Card to make a donation as donations will otherwise not be matched.
  • $249 does not comprise the total annual contribution suggested for 2018-2019 ($360 for a family, $180 for a single person). You can send the remainder as a check to JCK directly or pay via PayPal on our website. Our mailing address is: Jewish Community of Kauai, P. O. Box 3749, Lihue, HI 96766.
  • At checkout, please provide your Maika`i Card and advise the cashier that you would like to make a donation to JCK. If you do not already have a Maika`i Card, you may obtain one.
  • Our registration code is 78502. See our banner in the Waipouli Foodland. Your donation will be added to your grocery purchase total. The amount donated to JCK will appear on your receipt. Any donation must be made payable to Foodland.
  • Important note. Your name will not be provided to JCK. Please contact us directly to advise us of your gift or membership so that we can acknowledge you.

Are These Contributions Tax Deductible?

Yes, contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Save your receipt for tax purposes since it will be the only record you will have of your donation.

For more details, visit the Give Aloha website.